Sleepless in L.A.

Sort of a nod back to this post, but I truly did have problems sleeping while we were there so I figured the title was appropriate.


After a truly whirlwind weekend, we are back in DFW. And a few days later, I feel like I’m finally starting to recover. Though I felt great at the time, I think the whole weekend took more out of me than I anticipated.

Anyway, I made good on my lofty goal for the weekend, which was to fit in as many meals as possible. We started off with a small (ha! “small”) meal at a nearby sushi restaurant almost the minute we met up with our friends. We made our dinner reservations at a popular restaurant literally while we were eating. We killed some time by frolicking on the beach (the water was freezing, btw) and hanging out at a bar near the Venice Beach pier (the sip I had of the jalapeno maragrita was delicious and they had chocolate chip cookies on the menu!!! I had one!!! and helped finish Luffy’s!!!).

After cleaning up, we walked to the Insta-hip restaurant – The Rose. The food was very delicious (especially the off-menu cacio e pepe!) and I probably ate too much, but that’s what vacation is for right! At the beginning of our 8:45pm reservation, we all had high ambitions for what to do after our meal. However, by the time we wrapped it up (at a reasonable 10pm, I might add), we were all practically falling asleep at the table. We called it a night.


The next day, we visited a little nearby breakfast/lunch spot called the Great White. They had the best chocolate croissants I’ve ever had. They were huge! And filled with nutella! Luffy and I shared one and then I promptly had him go order another so we could “share” it. They were fantastic.

We then went for a little hike in the hills. We meant to hike up to the Hollywood sign, but after discovering some closed trails and inadvertently taking the longer route, we had to turn back far short of our intended destination. I definitely cried uncle first (pregnant!), but we still had another 3 miles to hike at the spot we turned around at (just to get there, mind you, definitely not round trip) so I think we were all ready for some shade and food.

Speaking of food, our next stop was the ever-tasty Din Tai Fung. I had plenty of soup dumplings and sesame noodles and green beans. After a short walk around the shopping center, we stopped for gelato and headed back to our AirBNB for an afternoon nap.

The last dinner on the agenda was, gloriously, at Sugarfish. I have loved Sugarfish ever since we were introduced to it by our LA friends. The sushi is just incredible and I was beyond excited that the group unanimously agreed to have dinner there. (It almost got derailed since we were meeting up with more friends and the wife is pregnant and she’s much more conservative about following rules. Thankfully she ordered room service at their hotel before coming out. Then probably judged the hell out of me for getting raw – GASP! – sushi but idgaf. It was amazing.) Since the restaurant doesn’t take reservations, or even call a-heads, we killed time by walking around Santa Monica. After an incredible meal, we pretended to be in college again and visited several bars, including a rooftop bar that was a lot of fun. Or, you know, as fun as being the sober one at the rooftop bar can be.


Sunday dawned overcast. Luffy and I ventured back to Great White for breakfast again, before walking to the Venice Beach pier. Once we met back up with our friends, we accompanied them to breakfast and then just strolled the boardwalk until it was time to go pack and head to the airport.

Luffy and I caught our noon flight back to DFW and were reunited with a very cranky dumpling, poor little guy. And that was our trip! Tiring but full of food and fun and friends. Definitely a great little babymoon, if you want to call it that.

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Polishing Up the Home, pt 6

Every once in a while, I get a seemingly random burst of energy and motivation to take care of things around the house. This is one of those times. And lucky you! You get to hear all about it.


First up, I finally – FINE. UH. LEE. – bought a garden hose reel.

What the hell Belle? That’s your leading item? I can hear you thinking.

I’ve always wanted one, but it seemed unnecessary. I mean, it’s not like I use the garden hose on a daily basis. I did last summer, to water our fresh sod, and I use it occasionally to fill up the dumpling’s wading pool or water plants. I’d always just re-looped it back on the ground and figured that was good enough.

However, each time I’ve come across it in the past few weeks, it’s been a tangled mess. The last straw was that I used it to fill the dumpling’s pool a couple of weeks ago. The tangles and kinks frustrated me and I spent a good half hour re-looping it back into an orderly fashion. Not three days later, the landscaping crew used it to plant our new tree and left it in another tangled heap. I almost cried in frustration, but decided then and there to at least look at hose reels.

I was in Home Depot a couple of days ago for other items and found one that was very reasonably priced. I brought it home and experienced near-nirvana as I wound the hose onto it. Even being the tangled mess that it was, it took mere minutes to wind properly. Then I wheeled it to the back of the house, hooked it up, and stepped back to marvel at the neatness. The hose reel deeply satisfied me and Luffy just laughed when I told him. So now I’m telling y’all.


This may be TMI, but ever since the dumpling started having real poops (you know, once they start eating real foods and those dreamy breast milk poops are gone) […. did I just really describe stool as “dreamy”? maybe it’s a pregnancy thing], we’ve dumped solids into the toilet during diaper changes. The dumpling has, within the last few months, also taken a liking to helping us flush the toilet afterwards. On one such occasion, the toilet seat/lid slammed down a bit too hard and the brittle plastic cracked.

It happened a few days before we left for our trip, thus I just got around to purchasing a new seat and installing it. I was very pleased with my handy work, removing the old seat, cleaning underneath (gag), and installing the shiny new one. Then I stepped back and realized that it’s off center.

GASP!

I kind of want to fix it, but I’m also waiting to see just how much it bugs me before breaking out the tools again.


Also in potty-related news. We took the toilet roll holder out of the primary bathroom when the dumpling started walking. Toilet paper is a magnet for little kids, right? So we figured we’d just avoid the whole issue by having the toilet paper up out of reach.

Luffy asked me a couple of weeks ago where the holder was, as we could probably re-install it now. I looked and looked, but couldn’t find it (of course) so I purchased a new one. Felt like a queen, using toilet paper on an actual holder. So nice! So fancy!

I installed that Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday evening I left the dumpling playing in the bathtub (sans water, he was just hanging out in it because reasons or something). I was out of the room for literally two minutes and came back in again to find that he’d unrolled the toilet paper all over the floor. He looked mighty proud of himself too, that little cutey.

Oh well, so much for avoiding that mess, huh?


This one isn’t so much about polishing up the home as it is keeping it clean.

I know a lot of people can’t stand hair, as in loose strands, on the floor, in your food, etc. I felt like I had a pretty high tolerance for hair in most places (my weakness was the shower drain, shudder), probably because I shed so much.

Notice the past tense up there? Had a pretty high tolerance.

I can no longer stand the sight of loose hairs, nearly anywhere. It grosses me out to find it on the kitchen or bathroom floor. Or by the sinks. Or pretty much anywhere. I think because I have such short hair now? In the past, I could pretty much guarantee it was my own hair and maybe that helped the gag reflex. But now I know that any hair over like three inches in length is definitely NOT mine and I just can’t with it anymore.

Ewe.

Room conundrum

So here’s the thing: writing things down here has always, always helped me sort out the positives and negatives of a given situation. Allowing the stream of consciousness to tumble out and committing it to paper has a way of allowing me to sort through issues.

All of that to say: I’m sorry. We’re probably about to have a very boring conversation here. But I must! So sorry?

As Luffy so helpfully reminded me the other night, we have five short months until the arrival of little bao. Plus, with the anatomy scan on the schedule and just a few short weeks away, that means I’m very near the tipping point of pregnancy – when your countdown becomes shorter than the count-up. Gulp

We are very prepared for this arrival of this baby in terms of the day-to-day items he or she will need. I’ve kept everything from the dumpling’s early days, so we have plenty of clothing (and you best believe I care not one iota if my newborn girl is wearing blue or firetrucks or – GASP – boy’s clothing). We also still have our swing and bassinet and rock-n-play (though that has technically been recalled… not sure if I’ll still use it or not). We’re even re-using our infant bucket car seat because ours is in excellent condition and hasn’t hit its expiration date yet. And I’ll just add newborn diapers to our Amazon Prime list. We have wipes and receiving blankets and burp clothes. We have our Kiinde bottles, though I’ll need to buy the inserts again once this little person starts taking bottles. Plus new nipples; we can splurge right? I suppose this one could like pacifiers, which we do not have, but meh. Stores are open. Amazon Prime is available. My sanity requires brief outings in the postpartum period anyway, so why not pick up a package of boogie wipes from Target when little bao is ten days old?

[Side note – I have never understood why pregnant women feel the need to stock up on stuff beforehand. There’s an entire forum of women asking about stocking up on things like diapers because you’ll always need them! Yeah, but what if you bought all Size 1 and bring home a preemie? What if you bought newborn and bring home a 10lb baby? What if your kid is allergic to the Huggies you bought? Besides the whole you’ll always need them thing they always talk about spacing out the expense. But like, why? You either buy them now or in five months. It’s not like the cost of diapers is going to skyrocket in the next five months. The only time I can see front-loading expenses like this is if you happen upon some insane deal – like buying an entire stash of cloth diapers for an 18mo old for like $5 or something. That I get. Having five packages of diapers – one of each size! – before your child arrives? That I don’t.]

So we’ve got the stuff.

What we don’t have is the room plan.

Let me give you a brief overview of our home. We have three “spare” bedrooms in our house. The largest is currently our guest bedroom, with a queen-size bed. The second largest is current the office / playroom / kitty room. The smallest is the dumpling’s room. I really like our current layout. In fact, I keep putting off making this decision in hopes that I’ll randomly open a closet door in the near future and discover some Narnia-esque bedroom exists that I didn’t know about so we can keep everything as-is for the new baby.

But alas, that’s (probably) not going to happen, so here are our options:


First up, a few things that are going to happen regardless of which option gets picked:

  • The guest bed will be moved into the office. My mom actually had a really great idea about finding a new bed that either folds away or up somehow, so that the bed isn’t always in the way. Which is an awesome idea because a queen size bed is going to take up 95% of the room. We’ll definitely have to move the dumpling’s toys out of there and perhaps even the cat tower. Not sure what we’ll do with all of that. It helps the decision process that this room can’t be used as a full-time bedroom because it has two huge downsides: (1) a window that is truly the size of the room itself and nearly impossible to cover and (2) a shared wall with the living area and entry way which means I would forever and always be tiptoeing around my house for fear of waking the child.
  • The guest bedroom is currently a vivid, brutal shade of red. Classing it up even more is the fact that the previous owners were kind enough to patch holes in the drywall, but just lazy enough to do it in white. So picture a fire-engine red room with random white splotches and a few blue stars painted on the ceiling. It’s a bit much, is all I’m saying. I really think I’ll bite the bullet this time and paint. And because all of that stop-sign red paint is going to take a lot of coats of primer, I’m likely going to hire out the work. And if I hire out the work, I might want to paint more than just one room. So I may wait until we know if little bao is a boy or a girl to perhaps paint his or her room accordingly. And even if I don’t do that, the paint in our master bedroom is showing plenty of signs of aging, so perhaps we’ll repaint that too. Maybe. We all know the pace with which I move on home projects.

Option 1: Leave the dumpling in his room. Make the guest bedroom into little bao’s room.

  • Pros: The dumpling doesn’t have to move rooms and we don’t risk him feeling as though the baby has kicked him out of his space.
  • Cons: The guest bedroom is the largest bedroom and giving it to the smallest person in the household seems a bit… odd? Unnecessary? I could see the dumpling really enjoying the extra space to play in. Though, on the other hand, we will have to make the crib-to-bed transition soon and a bunch of toys in his room probably won’t help matters.

Option 2: Move the dumpling into the guest bedroom. Have little bao in the dumpling’s room.

  • Pros: The dumpling has more room to play, since he has the bigger room. All the those toys that are currently in the office could be moved into his larger room, meaning we won’t be tripping over a toy kitchen and the million pieces of toy food in our living room or something.
  • Cons: Must be done on the sooner side as we don’t want the little guy thinking he’s being booted out by the baby.

When I write all of this out, it seems startlingly simple. I mean, there are really only two options!

The only other potential option would be for the kids (OMGAH – kids plural! I’m going to have multiple children!) to share a bedroom. I can definitely see this happening in the future, perhaps when little bao is at least a year old, and especially if little bao ends up being a boy. What I have a hard time picturing is the dumpling sharing a room with an infant. I know parents swear their kids don’t wake each other up, but I just can’t picture it. Plus, the dumpling is very stimulated by our presence. Whereas other parents say they just tell kid to roll over and go back to sleep if they get woken up, I can easily picture the dumpling being like ok yeah but you’re here so let’s play!

ANYWAY – that brings me to my last hesitation about the whole arrangement and my wish for the Narnia-esque bedroom: pretty much no matter how I arrange things, the dumpling and little bao will share a wall. And that just makes me nervous. I know – I know! – parents sweat their kids don’t wake each other up, but this is one of those things I’ll just have to see to believe. In the meantime, I think I’ll fret over it a bit.

And that sums it up! To move the dumpling or not to move him? I’ll have to ruminate on it a bit. Check back later.

16w and enjoying the bump

So how’s the pregnancy going Belle? you might ask. You know, if we were sitting down for coffee. Except that I don’t drink coffee, so maybe it’s a plate of cookies we’re sharing.

It’s going well! I’d tell you, after finishing my too-large bite of cookie.

I truly can’t complain about much right now. I’m sporting a bump that’s clearly baby if I’m in the right clothes (still sort of questionable in some outfits). My boobs still hurt but they’re looking fabulous. The nausea is gone. The crazy hunger is gone too, though I still find myself needing a regular snack to make it to mealtimes.

I did well on vacation! The heat was a bit much at times, especially since that sun can be unbearably intense at midday. I carried the dumpling a lot last week – over the beach and in the water and through the airport – but I managed. Luffy helped out, of course, but juggling things at the airport was particularly challenging (it made me appreciate how much easier it is to chase after a kiddo when you don’t have bags to lug around). I’m starting to have to find ways to shift him around the belly, either by hiking his leg up over it or scooching him farther back on my hip, but we’re making it.

I had my first second-trimester check-up yesterday morning. It was a very quick appointment, especially since my doctor was caught up at a surgery and I opted to see the practice’s physician’s assistant rather than wait. I did get to hear the heartbeat via doppler, which is always a very exciting thing. A beautiful 140bpm and the PA found it almost immediately though she had warned me that it could sometimes take a while to find the little bean.

I did get confirmation that all of that tasty food I indulged in last week did not just magically evaporate. I’ve gained 11 pounds, or maybe 8*, so far and that is way too much by most standards. According to this site, I’m four whole pounds over target weight. Not the most ideal situation, but I’ll work on it.

*So here’s the explanation on the whole 11 or perhaps 8 pounds thing: a month before I got pregnant, I had my well woman’s exam. I don’t want to fixate on numbers, so I won’t cite specifics, but we all have a number in our heads of what we weigh. At my well woman’s exam, I actually weighed three pounds less than that number, to my surprise. While I was pleased with it initially, the weight figures my doctor has taken during the pregnancy haven’t really lined up up well with that. Even though I feel smaller this pregnancy (or did, up until vacation last week), the scales and that lighter pre-pregnancy number have said otherwise. It sounds truly bizarre to say, but it’s like that three pounds just warped away somehow (can I blame their scale?). I say this because, while I know I’ve probably gained a touch too much weight for just 16 weeks along, I do NOT feel like I’ve gained 11 pounds. Eight pounds gained seems much more in line. But that’s not what the scale says. So I don’t really know what to think. I’ll just focus on eating healthy and keeping a handle on my portions.

EDIT: It suddenly occurred to me, after I wrote this post, to check how much I weighed around 16 weeks with the dumpling. Surprisingly (or perhaps not?) I weighed the exact same amount. So I guess I’ll chill and let my body do its thing as it clearly knows what it needs.

And now, for the most exciting news from an otherwise mundane check-up: mark your calendar! August 1st! 9:30am! We see how little bao is looking in there and find out if it’s a boy or a girl! So excited I could start the countdown now!

Beach Life

We’re back! We had a wonderful time, just no one ask Luffy about it. The A/C in our car went out about two hours into his 12 hour drive home and he’s, understandably, not ok with it yet. I felt so bad for him having to make that hot drive alone, but also grateful that it happened after the dumpling and I were dropped off.

But our vacation! We had a fantastic time with the dumpling and our neighbors. I won’t regale you with a day-by-day synopsis of what went on, but I do have to include a few of my favorite anecdotes:


First up – the travel! The dumpling did great on both flights. He had a bit of a meltdown at the tail end of the flight going there. For landing, I gave him the option of sitting in his seat (buckled) or sitting in my lap. (At takeoff, he’d been very nervous and sat in my lap). He did not want to be buckled, so he defaulted to my lap, but he was very upset with me when I wouldn’t let him kick the seat in front of us. A bit of a mini wrestling match ensued, but all was fine in the end. We de-planed and took off to find dada.

The hour and a half turned two hour (thanks traffic!) drive to Gulf Shores went okay-ish. After thirty minutes of being at a literal standstill, the dumpling started to get feisty, though I managed to distract him with some of those water coloring books. Those lasted another half hour or so until hunger, I think, caught up with him. He’d had a light lunch at 11 and I fed us a protein heavy snack before the flight. He’d snacked on craisins throughout the flight, but he hadn’t had anything really substantial since breakfast and it was pushing 7pm. Unfortunately, motion sickness was also getting to him, so he didn’t really want to eat. We eventually got to our little rental home and the dumpling was SO excited, especially when we saw the neighbor’s kiddo, Gavin. The dumpling zoomed around the house, checking out rooms and the deck, positively bursting with energy.

On the way back, we had a two and a half hour drive to Gulfport. The dumpling managed to fulfill my wildest dreams by taking a nap in the car at 10am. He slept for an hour and I was so pleased with that because it was the only day that I didn’t have a nap outlined for him. (I consider it my duty as a parent to provide a nap opportunity of his preference at a reasonable napping point during the day. For our travel day there, we left for the airport really early to build a car nap into his schedule. For our days on vacation, I still took him in the car for his nap. This day was the only day that I truly didn’t have any idea what I’d do for his nap since our flight was right at naptime. I just kind of hoped for the best). ANYWAY. The dumpling got an early nap in, which was even better considering our flight was delayed for half an hour. In a stroke of luck, we were flying out of the smallest, nicest airport I’ve ever seen. In the two hours we were there, no other flights landed or took off, so the airport was basically empty. The dumpling had (almost) free reign to run anywhere. It was glorious.


Since we arrived so late our first day, we didn’t attempt to take the dumpling to the beach until the next morning. The dumpling woke up just a touch before 6am and we decided to take a walk down to the beach. Our house was literally a minute’s walk from the beach, so we were in a great location. We walked down and tentatively introduced the dumpling to the ocean and, to our delight, he loved it. He had such a blast that morning walking in the surf and playing chase with the ocean. He came back drenched head-to-toe and we had a very hard time pulling him away. Our mantra for leaving the beach would become “we’re not done playing at the beach” as that was the only way we could get him to come inside with us.

That first full day of vacation was a delight and, honestly, probably my favorite day. We played in the surf for an hour that morning, then came back in for breakfast and a break before heading back out mid-morning. We probably played for another couple of hours before breaking for a very late lunch and nap. We headed down again in the late afternoon before coming in for a home-cooked dinner.


The dumpling had a blast, of course, because our general schedule pretty much went out the window. He stayed up late and ate what he wanted. We indulged every request for goldfish or juice (joke’s on him! his “juice” is extremely watered down Gatorade) and considered french fries and ketchup to be an adequate dinner. He had free reign over our iPad for dinosaur videos, was introduced to Peppa Pig by Gavin’s little sister, and was welcome to watch whatever movie our friends had going on their Apple TV (usually Moana as their little girl loves it).

I do have to chuckle a bit because it became pretty clear that we are raising a little indoor-child. After that first day on the beach, where we spent hours playing, it actually became a little harder to get him to go down. So much so that by the last afternoon, when presented with the option of going down to the beach for the very last time or staying inside – he chose to stay inside.


On July 4th, we had a bit of a snafu. We had been playing at a nearby pool in the morning and set off for the 5-10 minute walk home when it was clear the dumpling was tired. I was carrying him, doing my best to center his weight across my ever-expanding abdomen, when I suddenly realized that he was a little too limp. Oh crap, he’s asleep.

Sure enough, he had fallen asleep on me as I trudged through the hot sand. After an unsuccessful attempt at a transfer to his bed, he was awake and oddly happy about it. Luffy was tired and upset over our blunder; I sent him off to take a nap himself while mentally preparing myself for a hellacious afternoon with a cranky kiddo, but it never happened. I got him a snack and he settled down with Gavin to watch something on the iPad. I was able to make myself lunch and actually sat down at the dining table to eat it, feeling like a queen. The dumpling didn’t even get mad at the commercial breaks on YouTube (which I haaate – you watch a video on the PS4 and there’s one commercial at the beginning – you watch the EXACT SAME VIDEO on the iPad and there’s a commercial every two minutes). Instead, he’d use the commercial break to run and grab a handful of popcorn. It was super cute.

All afternoon, we quietly did our own thing until 3:30 rolled around and I knew it was time to make a decision. He’d slept for 10 minutes that day after getting up at 5:20. If I wanted to give him another opportunity for sleep, it was now or never. Since he’d been so pleasant, I was hesitant to force him into the car for a nap. However, he started to do subtle things that I knew indicated he was tired, so I did end up forcing him into the car. And lo, he was not happy with me. He screamed at me, screamed. After 10 minutes of driving, he was still writhing and screaming as only preschoolers on a mission can do, so I did the only thing I could do – I gave in to his demand to go that way and turned the car around. I apologized for upsetting him and told him we’d go back home. He was asleep within seconds. I actually ended up having a hard time waking him and he slept for a full hour even though I had wanted to keep it around 30 minutes.

We rolled with it though and just reminded ourselves that this way he could stay up for the 9pm fireworks. Which was fun! We busted out glow sticks and the kids had a blast. We ended up being in a prime location. Our house was next to a condo resort that put on a large fireworks display over the water. We could watch the fireworks from our deck, which was the perfect low-pressure way to introduce the dumpling to fireworks. Some people in the area fired some rather large ones off as we were waiting so the dumpling got to see a few one-off ones before the large display. He seemed excited, but I think the build-up got to him and he requested to go inside right before the display began. He and I cuddled on the couch for a minute before I realized we could watch them from the window. I made sure that I was full of ooohs and awes for his benefit and he had a great time watching them. He braved going outside in the middle of the display for a minute before promptly requesting to go back inside for the remainder of the display.


Speaking of sleep, the dumpling did pretty great on that front too. His sleep, as y’all know, is always a wildcard while out of town. Luffy and I envisioned the worst while trying to come up possible sleeping arrangements. One of the rooms had a bunk bed in it and, at first, we thought he might like sleeping in there with Gavin. But it turned out that our neighbors wanted their older son (15yo) to sleep in there. We discovered the bunk bed also had a twin trundle and thought the dumpling could sleep on that. Luffy expressed some concerns (the fact that he’d be basically on the floor of a room where he’d be going to bed the earliest and what would happen if he got up in the middle of the night?) that I initially brushed off before panicking over them at midnight the night before we left (typical Belle move, that one). Then, an epiphany! I realized we could pull the mattress from the twin trundle and put it on the floor of our room, which is exactly what we did. We wedged it between the dresser and our bed, so that he was somewhat closed in. He did fantastically. He did request that Luffy sit with him to fall asleep and he did have a couple of middle-of-the-night wakeups (dada! he’d exclaim before I vaulted out of bed to re-tuck him in). We had one super early 5:20 wake-up (that day, I just took him out on the deck with me to watch the sunrise), but he slept until about 6am most mornings. Our day began with his little head popping up over our bed and tiny little giggles as he crawled in with us. It was precious.


And the food, oh the food. Being pregnant, I’m a bit of a downer on the adult beverage front (though my mouth watered over the bottles of lemon vodka and prosecco in the pantry), but I’m pretty sure I ate more than my share of food. One fantastic upside of renting a house, as opposed to staying in hotels, is the access to a kitchen. Even nicer, a couple of our traveling companions enjoy cooking. Thus, I gorged on homemade spaghetti and breakfast tacos, and waffles, and biscuits, and frito pie, and queso. It was all delicious. Plus, our neighbors had arrived a day earlier and stocked up on snacks like chips and cheez its, cookies and candy. I had a couple of shrimp po’boys for lunch/dinner and one delicious bowl of ice cream the night we visited the resort (food trucks and a foam party which the dumpling thoroughly enjoyed). I’m pretty sure I managed to pack on a couple of extra vacation pounds, just in time for my prenatal check-up this morning, but it was well worth it.


All in all, a great vacation. All three of us were worn out yesterday and spent the day lounging about. The dumpling even took his nap on me, on the couch, much to my pleasure. It was a fantastic week.

Hi. Bye.

This week has been a busy one. Boring, but busy.

However, I had to stop by because – ahem – WE’RE GOING ON VACATION NEXT WEEK!!! Woohooo!!!

We’re taking the dumpling to the beach!

I’m very excited, but I have a million things to pack. Approximately. Lists need checking off. Laundry needs to be done. I have to decide how much of the dumpling’s “necessary” sleeping paraphernalia I’m willing to bring (white noise machine – yay or nay???). I’ve got to pack the car (which Luffy is driving) and a plane bag (because the dumpling and I are flying). I have to pack Jas’ bag since she’s going to stay with grandma for the week. SO MUCH PACKING.

So yes, just stopping by so y’all know we’re good. Little bao is along for the ride and doing well. The dumpling is oblivious to the vacation coming up. Luffy is chill as a cucumber, as always. But me! So busy! Much packing!

See y’all on the tanner side!

Telling the dumpling

As the title alludes, we told the dumpling the big news over the weekend.

Luffy and I sat him down yesterday morning and read him his new favorite book. When we finished, we told him that we had big news. Our family is growing! We told him that he’d be a big brother too. We explained to him that mama is growing a baby in her belly and let him rub my belly. I told him that my belly was going to get a lot bigger soon!

He had an excited smile while we told him, but we were pretty sure it went right over his head. I foresee lots of conversations in our future (which we were totally expecting!).

It was pretty adorable though because he didn’t have anything to say except requesting we read the story again. About two pages into it, I watched him lift up his shirt and pinch his own belly.

“There’s a baby in ‘der?” he asked me.

“Oh sweet boy, no. Mama has a baby in her belly. Your belly just has breakfast.”

Cuteness overload!

He later politely informed Luffy that there was a baby in mama’s belly, but his belly just had breakfast.


In other pregnancy news, I for real and for certain felt little bao kick on Saturday afternoon. The dumpling and I were in the office. He was playing dinosaurs and I was curled up, resting against the wall with my knees pulled close to my chest. The compression helped me feel a clear-as-day kick. Such a wonderful little milestone.